Tall corn, music, parades, much more at 84th Annual Rossville Festival

“Who has grown the tallest corn this year?”

With irrigation and enhancing growing conditions, along with most timely rainfall, records might be broken this year during the tallest corn stalk judging at the 84th Annual Rossville Tall Corn Festival, August 9-10-11, in Rossville.

Continuing in recognition of corn production in the Kaw Valley, one of the best-corn-growing-regions in the world, the Rossville Tall Corn Festival is much more than tall corn stalks, even more than corn-spitting, and eating-corn on-the-cob.

“In the heart of the Kaw Valley, families from across the land have been gathering for music, parades and corn on the second weekend of August since 1929, to recognize the hard work of the Rossville community during harvest,” according to Jessica Aubert, secretary of the Rossville Community Development Committee, a volunteer group coordinating the annual affair.

“For an event to continue so many years is a record in itself, but today the Rossville Tall Corn Festival is three days of fun activities for everyone,” Aubert added.

Of course, the most-talked-about-part of the festivities is the “tall corn,” so appropriately evaluating “who is the farmer with the greenest thumb?” so to speak, kicks off Friday evening, Aug. 9, 6 o’clock, at the Joe Campbell Memorial Stadium.

“First though, get ready to pucker up and let ‘em fly, as contestants will spit a corn kernel as far as they can in the corn spitting contest,” Aubert said.

After the tallest-corn-stalk has been selected, young and more mature eaters will put on their bibs for the corn-on-the-cob eating competition. “It’ll be the time to find the fastest corn eater in land as the fun-filled action will have plenty of corn for everyone,” Aubert insisted.

Also on tap Friday evening are a petting zoo, free hot dogs, community challenge volleyball, Cub Scouts car races, a talent show and a junior high dance.

There’ll be a pancake breakfast Saturday morning, Aug. 10, with a 5K and mile fun run starting at 7:30, before the co-rec softball tournament at 8 o’clock.

One of the most-anticipated-attractions for the Tall Corn Festival is the parade, starting with the kids at 9:45, and the grand parade down Main Street, follows at 10 o’clock.

“Celebrated since 1929, this spectacular attraction has marched down Main Street every year since the beginning. Everybody is invited to participate or come to watch as Rossville truly comes alive,” Aubert welcomed.

“At 11:30, Scott Helmer will entertain with rock, pop, country and American music helping wounded soldiers,” Aubert emphasized.

Afternoon attractions include a noon barbecue, mini-train rides, live charity auction, bingo and a 4 o’clock meal featuring fried chicken, fixings and homemade pie, along with a silent auction.

“Everybody comes to town for the Saturday night street dance, and this year’s lineup of musical entertainment is unmatchable; truly the best ever,” Aubert emphasized.

“Bring your lawn chairs” was the advice, as gates open at 7 o’clock, and there’ll be a beer garden, along with many other concessions available all evening.

First on stage at 7:30, is the Aaron Woods Bands, which will perform until 9:30.

“We are especially excited to have a performance by the renowned Peterson Farm Brothers at 9:45. It took less than a week for the Peterson brothers, Greg, Nathan and Kendal, to shoot to YouTube stardom last year, taking the Internet and mainstream media by storm with their viral ‘I’m Farming and I Grow It’ music parody. A year later, their hit parodies and information videos had been seen nearly 23 million times by people across the globe.

“From rapping to taking on popular hits, these brothers quickly became the faces of agriculture while igniting pro-farming dialogue among consumers,” Aubert contended.

In a repeat performance at the Tall Corn Festival, the Jared Daniels Band is to come on stage at 10 o’clock, to close out Saturday at midnight.

There’s community worship Sunday morning at 8 o’clock, with donuts and juice for breakfast.

Contestants have been advised: “Bring your own turtles” for the also much-anticipated turtle races at 1 o’clock, with the garden lawn tractor pull beginning at the same time, both in the Rossville City Park.

“Everybody who has a garden lawn tractor can come see just how much power there’s really has,” Aubert invited.

The “Splash Bash at the Pool” is official finale for this year’s Rossville Tall Corn Festival, but folks will typically “hang around” to visit and reminisce until the stars start to shine.

Noteworthy again is that the Rossville Community Development Committee is a volunteer organization that helps improve the overall quality of life in Rossville.

Along with the corn festival, the committee hosts the annual Christmas Festival, provides student scholarship awards, and supports various other community events.

In addition to Aubert as secretary, Kelly Kenney serves as president of the group, with Joe Miller, the vice president, and Jennifer Wegner, treasurer.

Jim Hays and Tony Eakin are emcees at the festival, with other committee members including Brandi Bergstresser, Angie Essman, Mindy Fiedler, Linda Gentry, Shari Gentry, Penny Jamvold, Chelsea Pelfrey and John Pelfrey.

Contact information for participation in any specific activities is available in the Rossville Tall Corn Festival brochure which can be viewed on thewww.RossvilleKansas.us website.

In conclusion, Aubert pointed out, “The Rossville Community Development Committee encourages everyone to support the festival sponsors and especially to ‘Come grow with us’ in the city of Rossville.”